MANILA–Marine soldiers from the Western Mindanao Command (WMC) have shot and killed eight self-proclaimed members of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) during operations in Sultan Kudarat Thursday morning.

Major Filemon Tan, WMC spokesperson, said the incident took place 5:40 a.m. at Sitio Sinapingan, Barangay Butril, Palimbang town, of the above-mentioned province.

He added that troops from the 61st Marine Company, Maritime Special Operations Group and Special Operations Platoon 6, Marine Battalion Landing Team 6, were the ones who engaged the brigands headed by one Ansar Al Khalifa and Mohd Jaafar S. Maguid, leaders of self-proclaimed IS affiliate, Ansurul Khilafah Philippines.

In the ensuing 30-minute firefight, eight of the bandits were killed and one homemade .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle, an M-16 automatic rifle, .45 caliber pistol and assorted improvised explosive devices, ICOM radios and five IS flags and various documents were seized.

The bodies of the slain bandits were also recovered, Tan said.

Pursuit operations are still ongoing, he added. (PNA)

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